In my previous article, I talked about the benefits of running small experiments, and taking small bets—where you control your downside, but expose yourself to massive upsides.If you start small, get your feet wet, and test things out without becoming too invested in a decision, you can tinker along the way. This is the advantage of small bets—making progress and tweaking
Contrary to popular belief, most successful founders don't begin with brilliant ideas-they discover them.Facebook started as a social network for college students. Pixar started by selling high-end computers for animation. And Twitter was a podcasting company before this.Facebook expanded upon the idea of social network. Pixar stayed in the same industry, but moved on to film making. Twitter changed their game completely.
Researchers have done extensive studies on the effects of one’s approach to learning on her ability to attain mastery. Dr. Carol Dweck—a leading researcher in this field who wrote the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success—makes the distinction between fixed and growth mindsets.People with fixed mindsets see their overall intelligence, talent, or skill to be a fixed entity—something
“The human being is the only animal that thinks about the future.”— Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling on HappinessThinking about the future can be pleasurable. And most likely when you think about the future, you find yourself achieving and succeeding, rather than fumbling and falling.This is what happens when you set a goal you wish to achieve. You instantly start imagining it. You daydream about
The best books are those which hit you in the head with bricks, and reconfigure your entire understanding of reality, people, life, and even yourself. These books would break a lot of myths, clarify a couple of misconceptions, and most likely would force you to look at things differently.1. Thinking, Fast and Slow| Audiobook | Kindle | Paperback |What It’s AboutDaniel Kahneman is a
Do you ever feel like a “fraud”? Do you ever feel that you would be exposed soon? Do you feel that you simply inherited your qualities and accomplishments, and got everything easy by just being lucky —that you might not really deserve the success you enjoy right now?A friend of mine, Reshma, recently became the new tech head in a startup. She is
Last night, I was reading the memoir of a best selling author. Here’s an excerpt:“When I was growing up I had the great privilege of being home schooled. For me that meant personalised attention, learning at my own pace, more discipline, and ultimately being able to graduate a few years early.”“Once I realised that unlike other kids in the neighbourhood I
Neha is a business development manager who is trying out a new business idea. She has been told by her superiors that it’s very tricky and most likely it won’t be successful. But she feels it in her gut that her idea would work.With her good argumentation skills she happens to persuade her bosses to give her the go-ahead with this
Sarah is an amateur singer. She sings in house parties, and friendly gatherings. She sings pretty well, and actually enjoys it too. She plans to make a career out of it.She participated in a local signing competition recently, but wasn’t able win. Her friends suggested to go to a singing class and take proper voice training which she has been resisting. She
When Niki walked into her boss's office, she had the letters spread out across her desk. Niki's boss was waiting for her. “You'll never be successful if you behave like this,” her boss said. “It's only a 8 rupee stamp (~$0.10), but this inattention to detail on a larger scale is going to sink you.”Niki had put the wrong stamps on envelopes.
A friend of mine — let’s call him Rajesh — is slightly overweight. Rajesh has been exercising daily for the past 5 years. He hits the gym regularly. He goes for his morning run daily. He believes he eats healthy as well.According to Rajesh, he’s getting healthy slowly. It’ll take time —can’t be done in a day after all. One doesn’
Between Dec 28th and Jan 5th I’ve been getting daily emails from Headspace (the meditation app) to get on with their premium plan at a 40% discount.I’ve also been getting calls from that one Pilates class I had taken almost a year back. They are generous enough to offer me a 25% lifetime discount, provided I take up a 6 month
Recently my girlfriend finished reading the Harry Potter series. She read the books back to back, page after page, one after other.Immediately after finishing the last book (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,) she picked up Six of Crows. But she some how found this book a bit hard to follow in the first few pages itself.Six if Crows is extremely well
In their book Medication Errors: Causes and Prevention, professors Michael Cohen and Neil Davis talk about a strange case of the “rectal earache”.A physician ordered ear drops to be administered to the right ear of a patient suffering from pain and infection. Instead of writing out completely “Right ear” on the prescription, the doctor abbreviated it, “place in R ear.” The duty nurse
“It’s either this, or war.”When a politician says something like this, people go crazy. “War?! OMG! if those are our only choices everyone better get onboard with whatever this is, pronto!”In the above quote, “this” is usually a proxy to get anything accepted, no matter how absurd, as long as it is less extreme than war.When one option is jumping
Imagine you have to hire a secretary. Both the candidates have identical qualifications and experience, but you find one a bit more attractive than the other. Who would you hire?Think of a real life situation in the past where you might have had to make a similar choice. Who did you pick?Or, take a different example. Imagine you’ve just witnessed a
Vivek is twenty-nine years old, single, outspoken, and very bright. He has a degree in CS from IIT Bombay. As a student, he has actively participated in sports, and also represented his college in several national competitions.From this description, does Vivek look more like a software developer, or more like a software developer who is active in sports?If you have picked the
The other night my girlfriend asked me, “What do you want to have for dinner, rice or chapati?”It was a simple question, but I had a hard time answering it. In my head rice and chapati had equal weight, and I had no plausible reason to choose one over the other.Choice is perceived as freedom, but sometimes between a rock and a
“Misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent.”— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young WertherAn intern fails to deliver a project report to you on time. You think he doesn’t respect your authority. A colleague ignores your feedback and goes ahead with the design. You
In 1969, Philip Zimbardo, a Stanford psychologist had two cars to spare and decided to conduct a small experiment. He arranged to have one parked with its hood up, open doors, without license plates, on a street in the Bronx, NY - a place that was poor, dangerous, and full of crime. The other one was parked on a street in Palo Alto, California,
Few years back a friend of mine had a burglary at his home. Valuable artefacts had been stolen. But the police refused to file and FIR, even after so much of pleading. They listed down the items that had been stolen, but in no way could we persuade them to file an FIR. They gave us all sorts of reasons, some useless, others false.
You got on YouTube and search for “camping hacks” to help plan your next trip. You see a list of videos. But you don’t want some random amateur giving you advice, so you naturally pick the video with higher views. Why?You are on your way somewhere. On the road you encounter a group of people, all staring at the sky. Without even